Erica Gaston

Erica Gaston

Project Manager

Erica Gaston is a project manager at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. Her research interests include differences in transatlantic approaches toward post-Arab Spring crises and emerging international humanitarian law related to civilian casualty prevention and response. She is also a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Prior to joining GPPi in October 2014, Erica worked at the United States Institute of Peace, where she led the Rule of Law portfolios for Afghanistan and Yemen. She designed and led programming related to traditional dispute resolution, women’s access to justice, local peacebuilding dialogues, land conflict and land rights, and transitional justice. Her research publications analyzed process issues in Yemen’s National Dialogue, explored community and social barriers to women’s access to justice in Afghanistan, analyzed the impact of emerging armed groups and militias on Yemen’s justice and security landscape, and mapped institutional failings in Yemen’s rule of law system, among other topics.

In 2009, Erica founded the Regional Policy Initiative at the Open Society Institute, where she focused on conflict-related law and policy issues in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She conducted extensive field and academic research on protection of civilians and conflict-related detentions, and coordinated to develop and support civil society efforts on these issues. She has also worked with the Center Civilians in Conflict, Human Rights Watch and other civil society and human rights groups.

Erica’s academic publications have related to the accountability of private security companies, issues and problems inherent in humanitarian projects, property damage awards in international claims courts and the improvement of emergency preparedness for homeland security and counterterrorism purposes. Her most recent publications, The Laws of War and 21st Century Conflict, Ethics of 21st Century Military Conflict and Media and Civil Society in 21st Century Conflict, are a series of article compendia designed to introduce those new to the subject to the ethical and legal dilemmas that have arisen in the context of post-9/11 conflicts.

Erica holds a bachelors degree in international relations with a specialization in international security from Stanford University. She received her juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. 

Languages: English, French, Arabic, Dari, German

Recent Publications

Report 01 February 2017

Harmonizing Donor Reporting

by Erica Gaston

Research Paper 16 January 2017

Literature Review of Local, Regional or Sub-State Defense Forces in Iraq

by Erica Gaston, András Derzsi-Horváth, Christine van den Toorn, Sarah Mathieu-Comtois
GPPi & American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Research Paper 16 January 2017

Literature Review of Local, Community or Sub-State Forces in Afghanistan

by Erica Gaston
GPPi & Afghanistan Analysts Network

Article 31 May 2016

Rule of Law and Statebuilding in Afghanistan: Testing Theory with Practice

by Erica Gaston, Erik Jensen
United States Institute of Peace

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Areas of expertise